'Melrose Place': There's always more to the story

mp-zano-lucas-pool-320x180.jpgThings are never simple in the lives of the "Melrose Place" tenants, and that much holds true in the penultimate episode of Season 1.

Now that the finale is just around the corner, will this creative "surge" be enough to get a renewal?

We'll see when the time comes, but for now, let's get into the convoluted lives of L.A.'s twentysomethings ...

Ella's Mission To Save Her Job: Ella uses a sexy get-up to persuade Jonah to help her infiltrate Amanda's nutjob of a plan to oust her from WPK, but Jonah keeps lecturing her that another illegal act won't do any good. It's time to lawyer up! But of course, there's a nerd standing in the way of Ella's quest to clear her name in Amanda's ridiculous scheme. What is it with nerds and keeping invaluable info under lock and key?

Ella lies about her online identity to get close to Gabe (the WPK nerd), who is addicted to online dating, and gets a glimpse to the WPK key she needs to get her manicured fingers on to gain access to the computers at the office. After a matinee of a science flick, Ella fakes being cold and poor Gabe doesn't get the hint. Ella proposes a mid-day cocktail, which leads Gabe to confess that she isn't exactly the girl a guy wants to bring home. Inadvertent burn, ouch. Gabe dumps Ella, but instead of shaking his hand, Ella plays the kiss card and afterwards is in posession of the golden key.

Ella lies to Jonah about her Saturday night plans. She's not working at WPK like she said. David helps Ella break into WPK after work hours adn they get into the WPK computer system with the help of Gabe's key, but not so fast, Ella's denied access! Not to fret, they break into Amanda's office and discover a file on Sydney Andrews, with a photo of a painting that went missing. Hm. The next morning, Ella confesses to Jonah about her little white lies. They make up. Cute.

Curtis Heller calls, telling Jonah that Simon's off the project, and proposes another idea: Jonah helming his own screenplay. That's. Insane.

Jonah Has Casting Troubles: At the studio, Jonah ends up reading the part of Jacob during the casting sessions because the casting director is conveniently sick with the swine flu. Simon, the film's director, shares some new ideas to "better" Jonah's script. Sorry kiddo, but that's Hollywood.

The casting session is a bust, with the girls either overacting or auditioning for an X-rated movie. Simon proposes the idea to rewrite the scene; since none of the girls are getting the moment, it's the fault of the screenplay. Yikes. Simon and Jonah aren't seeing eye to eye, and just like that, Simon kicks Jonah off the project. Again, that's Hollywood.

Jonah and his producer have a long chat about his project that's currently in limbo due to "creative differences." Jonah defends his words; compromise is not a word in his book. Jonah wants his movie back and will do anything to get it back, but sucks to be you kid, it's Curtis Heller's movie now. And he makes it painstakingly clear.

David's In Limbo: David fires his chef, who ends up taking a bunch of his staff with him, which leaves the Coal kitchen in major disarray, not to mention his relationship with Lauren. Lauren lends a hand, giving out free drinks to the beleaguered guests waiting at the restaurant. Aww, how sweet.

Ella pays a visit to Coal and isn't buying Lauren's "good girlfriend" routine. Of course with her, everything has an ulterior motive, and she makes that clear to Lauren. David recruits her to help out and she stumbles upon Bernadette Reese, one of the most important food critics in L.A. Ruh-roh. She warns David about the significance of keeping her happy. David, better put your best food forward.

Ella gets into PR mode, troubleshooting every plate before it gets to her table. David owes Ella his life, after Bernadette Reese posts a complimentary review on her website. David and Lauren are on better terms by episode's end.

The Triangle Continues: Riley and Drew (guest star Nick Zano) stargaze in the complex pool, and to make matters worse, Jonah walks in on them while they're making out. Awkward. At Riley's fundraiser, attendance is pretty bad, to say the least. It's pretty obvious why Drew didn't make a fake bid on Jonah's generous donation, and it's painfully clear why Jonah even made the donation in the first place. But, Drew uses his charm on a middle-aged woman, persuading her to "let her hair down" and have some fun in the bouncy house. If Jonah still has Riley's heart, at least Drew can get a party started.

The party has somehow found life, thanks to Drew. When Riley brings up Jonah's donation receiving some bids, Drew has the bright idea to auction off a private show with his band. Uh, I think not. Drew goes to Plan B: a date with Riley! Now that is something the guests are interested in. The winning bid ends up being $2,000 to Ella. Awkward much? Jonah confesses to Riley later that he couldn't cast her part in the movie because no one was good enough. Sigh.

Cue cheesy slo-mo action in the bouncy house with Drew and Riley after they make up. Seems like it's becoming a prerequisite in every "Melrose Place" episode nowadays.

Drew's Dark Secret: At the hospital, after Drew is unable to save a patient, we see him drawing blood from the dead body, cut short when Lauren butts in. Drew asks Lauren to keep his secret, reassuring her that there's a reason to his under-the-table actions.

OK so maybe Drew is good after all. He pulls Lauren aside, telling her that something's not right with one of the procedures that were done on the patient that passed -- and that he was just another victim in a long line. So what's Lauren going to do now that she has this info?

What are your thoughts on the episode? Theories on next week's finale? Discuss below!